Church welcomes unity in acts of Remembrance

Moderator with chaplains
Rt Rev Angus Morrison is pictured with military chaplains at the General Assembly of 2015.

The Moderator of the General Assembly and serving military chaplains have spoken of the importance of the uniting act of Remembrance which the Church will participate in over the coming days. Padre Stephen Blakey, Senior Army Reserve Chaplain Scotland, says coming together in this shared act with thecivilian population is hugely important for the men and women of our armed forces.

The Moderator Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison has written a prayer, which is available through the Life and Work website, which is intended for use at this time of remembrance. In it, the Moderator quotes John 14.27 (KJV)

'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.'

Dr Morrison will preach at the Remembrance Sunday service at Stornoway High Church this weekend and take part in the open air War Memorial Service immediately afterwards. He says the Remembrance commemoration never fails to move him deeply.

"It seems to me too that no-one can fail to be moved by the sheer scale of the sacrifices made by those who paid the price to secure our freedom. I myself had close relatives who served through the Second World War so I have some knowledge of how the experience of war affects families. It is only fittingthat we remember them and honour them in the way we do.

I am glad that this year I will be taking Remembrance Day services in Stornoway. Many service members from the islands made a notable contribution to the war effort and not a few paid the ultimate price. It will be a particular delight to be back in Stornoway where I with my wife and family enjoyed11 happy years of ministry. I look forward to meeting with family and those old friends as well with as the wider church. It will be a privilege to join them during this important time of Remembrance."

Padre Stephen A Blakey belives the degree of unity shown by society during Remembrance season is remarkable and it is as crucial for those currently serving in the military as the veterans who gather to remember their comrades. Mr Blakey, who is also minister at Bonkyl and Edrom linked with Duns, says

"The poppy is worn by the civilian population and by military personnel, young and old, the grieving and the remembering, the widow and the fatherless, the mentally scarred and the physically injured. We all unite in Remembrance and we wear our poppies with confidence.

This unity with the civilian population is hugely important for the men and women of our armed forces. It reminds them of that unbreakable link with the communities they have come from, the society that has enlisted them, and the country they serve. They are reassured that not only are the fallen 'notforgotten', but also that the serving are remembered, and will be warmly welcomed home at the end of their service.

And for all of us it is a reminder of that everlasting bond of humanity that links us to the past, to the present, and to the future. A reminder of the commitment to work together to create, and maintain peace, justice and equality for all people, even in the face of danger and great cost to ourselves.

We will remember them."

A resource has been prepared by service chaplains which gathers together a range of material suitable for Remembrance commemorations.